Shortcut Blender Tomato Sauce

It never fails. Every summer I anxiously await the first of the red, ripe tomatoes from our backyard garden. Then just as we’re packing for vacation, the plants begin to bear fruit in earnest.

I thought of this speedy solution a few years ago and have repeated it many times in order to deal with an over-abundance of tomatoes and to provide a tasty and versatile sauce throughout the winter months.

Much of what I freeze throughout the summer gets stored in an extra freezer in our basement. One day towards the end of last winter, my husband noticed that the door had been left ajar. Everything—including five or six containers of this flavorful sauce—had thawed.

Sadly, I had to pitch a lot, but the sauce was cold enough to salvage. I kept what I could use in a week’s time and gave the rest away.

My original intention wasn’t to create a fancy sauce. I just wanted to avoid tomato spoilage and, in the process, create a convenient, flavorful option to basic canned tomato sauce. So I was thrilled when one grateful recipient requested the recipe because her daughter enjoyed eating it as soup!

The very first time I made this, I had already given away a good portion of our tomato bounty in advance of our departure, but I still ended up with six pounds of tomatoes in my pot. The harvest from a few prolific plants can be impressive!

Six pounds of tomatoes cooks down into approximately two quarts of sauce, and I like to freeze the sauce in a variety of container sizes. Having some 8-ounce containers on hand when a recipe calls for a mere cup of sauce is a welcome convenience.

The real beauty of this recipe is that it eliminates the time-consuming, tedious task of peeling and seeding the tomatoes.  The blender creates a smooth base that cooks down to a velvety sauce, and no one will notice a single seed or piece of skin.  I actually think the skins enhance the flavor.

Because we plant a variety of tomatoes, I use a variety in my sauce.  Though plum tomatoes or a mix of varieties work especially well, use what you have, and simply simmer until thick.

If you prefer more oregano, a hint of basil, some black pepper, or even the flavor of bell pepper, add it.  It’s hard to go wrong when you start with fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes.  And you absolutely don’t have to be going on vacation to justify making this savory shortcut sauce!

UPDATE:  I just made a batch using 6 pounds of grape tomatoes.  (You should see the monster plant in my garden!) It worked beautifully and the yield was greater–most likely because there is a lower overall water content. I got exactly 2 quarts and 3 cups of sauce from this batch.

Shortcut Blender Tomato Sauce
This recipe may be doubled or halved based on the amount of tomatoes you have. Simply blend larger quantities in batches and choose a pot that accommodates.

Yields approximately 2 quarts (8 cups).
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  1. 6 pounds tomatoes (no need to remove the skin or seeds; see notes)
  2. 1 yellow onion
  3. 6-8 garlic cloves
  4. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 2 teaspoons dried oregano (may substitute 2 tablespoons fresh, minced)
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Remove the tomato stems and any bruised areas or white core, and then cut into chunks. Peel the onion and the garlic, and roughly chop.
  2. Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a blender (in batches, if necessary), and blend until smooth. The mixture may remind you of a pink milkshake at this point.
  3. Transfer to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to the point where the sauce maintains a slow simmer (uncovered). Stir in the olive oil, salt, oregano, and sugar, and let simmer for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has thickened nicely.
  4. Serve immediately or allow to cool thoroughly. Once cool, refrigerate or freeze for later use. When freezing, consider using an assortment of container sizes to match a variety of future recipe needs.
  1. Any variety of vine-ripened tomatoes will work. I typically use a combination of regular, plum, and cherry tomatoes–and a few yellow when I have them. Total simmering time will vary based on the variety of tomatoes used, as plum tomatoes tend to have less liquid and regular, round varieties are usually more watery.
  2. If you happen to have a piece of Parmesan rind on hand, add it to the pot. It’s delicious!  Leftover Parmesan rind can be stored in the freezer for convenient use in soups and sauces such as this one.
  3. This recipe may be made without the olive oil, but it does enhance the flavor while providing heart-healthy fats.
  4. The last time I made this sauce, I used two teaspoons of sugar instead of one to see how that affected the taste. I thought it was a little too much, so I added a teaspoon of white wine vinegar to offset it. My husband was particularly complimentary of that batch and asked if I included meat. You may try this variation if you like, but I stuck with my original recipe above–it has the official family stamp of approval.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Helpful guide if you don’t have a scale:

  • One small tomato weighs 3 to 4 ounces.
  • One medium tomato weighs 5 to 6 ounces.
  • Large tomatoes can weigh 7 ounces or more.
  • One pint of grape tomatoes weighs approximately 14 ounces.
After blending, the tomato mixture looks pink and frothy. No worries...

After blending, the tomato mixture looks pink and frothy. No worries..


…it will cook down to a gorgeous, delicious, thick, red sauce.

…it will cook down to a gorgeous, delicious, thick, red sauce.

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  1. Beverley

    great idea and how lucky to have an abundance right in your own back garden. I like this because summers are meant to be spent out doors enjoying the day not stuck in the kitchen xoxo

    1. Ann

      I so agree, Beverley, and we’ve been lucky to have had a delightful stretch of sunny but not-too-hot weather. Perfect for outside fun!

  2. Jeannette

    My husband made this yesterday with some tomatoes from his parents’ garden. It was fabulous & so easy!!! What a Great basic sauce! We added capers, kalamata olives & some red pepper flakes & had a wonderful Puttanesca sauce for dinner tonight!! This recipe is a keeper! Thanks!!

    1. Ann

      Thanks so much for the great feedback, Jeannette. I’m so glad you enjoyed and think your additions sound perfect!

  3. Donnie

    Saw this in the local Sunday paper. Was wondering could you do a double batch and let it simmer in the crock pot on low for several hours?

    1. Ann

      I haven’t made this in the crock pot but I think you could do it, Donnie. If it doesn’t cook down/thicken enough, I would eventually remove the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s as thick as you like. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!

      1. Kerry

        I was actually going to ask if this could be made in the crock pot! Just got fresh tomatoes and basil from my CSA and will be trying it this weekend!

        1. Ann

          Donnie (who asked a previous question about this) actually posted pictures of her crock pot success on my Facebook page. She had excellent results and posted photos of 2 gallons of sauce! She didn’t mention if she used my suggestion to remove the lid towards the end if wanting to thicken the sauce. You could do this if needed. Feel free to share your feedback here if you try!

  4. PJ

    Just made this and wanted to thank you! It is delicious! My only regret is that I didn’t double or triple the recipe! I will definetly be making a lot more. Again thank you and I’ll be waiting for more great recipes

  5. Pingback: Easy Pasta Skillet with Creamy Meat Sauce — The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

  6. Kat

    I’m so excited to have found your yummy and easy recipe! I have a garden that just produced 5 different kinds of tomatoes today and I wanted to use them up. I had about 5 pounds which was pretty close. I also added my sweet peppers. I loved using our good blender for the two batches, so easy! It’s cooking on the stove now and smells delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I shared it on fb too!

    1. Ann Post author

      Yay! I’m delighted that you made it and love your addition of sweet peppers, Kat. Thanks for sharing the recipe, too!

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m wondering if you had bad garlic or any of the other ingredients were somehow off, Elaine. Try adding a little extra sugar…and maybe even a glug of balsamic vinegar.

  7. Samantha

    My six year old son helped me make this sauce from fresh garden tomatoes. He’s a picky eater but loved this sauce. I have a batch simmering right now for dinner. Excellent!

  8. Tracey

    I made this tonight with tomatoes from my garden! Delicious tomato sauce and I felt like I wasn’t wasting time getting rid of the skins. Thanks! It was a great base to add some ground beef, some other veggies and spices, and mostly importantly, the family loved it!

    1. Ann Post author

      I usually freeze in plastic freezer containers, Judy, but do use Mason jars from time to time. If freezing in glass, make sure it’s freezer safe and that you leave sufficient head space to allow for expansion.